The global, youth-led Green Hope Foundation is working to teach young people the meaning of sustainable development.

At the age of 12, founder and president Kehkashan Basu attended Rio+20 in Brazil, her second international conference, and observed what she calls a “severe lack of inclusivity of children in the sustainable development process.” Basu tells Food Tank, “I decided that I had the expertise of four to five years of ground-level work, and I wanted to use that to be able to involve more children and young people in this whole sustainable development process.”

Basu launched Green Hope Foundation in response to this realization. Today, the organization operates in 25 countries, helping youth recognize the interconnectedness of environmental challenges and promote the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We really want to create this holistic movement, where every single challenge is addressing the work. The solutions work hand in hand and really solve all of our, the world’s, problems,” says Basu.

In many communities, Basu explains that men leave villages in search of work. But many women who remain are not permitted to tend the fields. When they are allowed, they are not compensated the same as men. In some of these communities, Green Hope Foundation organized poultry and organic seed distributions to create sustainable sources of nutrition and income for women.

In India, Liberia and Bangladesh, the organization is planting fruit trees and training women to help them enter the marketplace. “For us,” Basu tells Food Tank, “it’s just about really creating that holistic, positive environment, and addressing as many of the challenges as we can because they are connected.”

Green Hope Foundation also has a Grow Your Own Food campaign with members and educational partners in India, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Canada. Youth in both rural areas and cities are learning about selecting and growing appropriate crops, and making their own compost.

Read the full article about Green Hope Foundation by James Mather at Food Tank.